This is not my main blog. This is the other blog. The one that charts all the random bumps on the highway that is life. It was also my first blog, so it is, in it's own special way, still the best.

The other one, the one that I update regularly, can be found here.

That's all for now.

April 28, 2006

New computer parts

I've got new computer parts! Ah, joyous. I shall have a very fun evening transferring data between hard drives until eventually I crash the entire system, give up in despair and go hide somewhere until the flames die down!

There's something about new toys that lifts your entire day, isn't there?

April 27, 2006

Ice Age 2 : The Meltdown

I've got admit I was only a slight fan of Ice Age. It was fun, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't great. Let's face it everyone mainly liked it for Scrat's attempts to get an acorn of his own.

Ice Age 2 suffers a similar fate. Don't get me wrong, the animation was amazing and the characters are fun interesting and exciting. This is a film that has plot coming out of it's ears - every character has they're own little subplot. Manny (the mammoth) is worried that he's the last Mammoth. When he finally meets Elly (another mammoth) she's convinced she's a possum. Diego (the sabre tooth tiger) is afraid of water. and Sid (sloth) is still trying to get some respect. All of this plays out against a back drop of impending doom as the ice age is leaving and the flood is coming. Plus two dinosaurs have been defrosted and are out for food. Plus there are two manic possums running around wildly.

Like I said this is a film that has subplots coming out of its ears, but it never really felt like there was a main plot. To make matters even worse towards the end of the film they're obviously bulking out the story with some random set pieces. Although the song and dance number is quite fantastic! It should be noted however that there is no extra bit at the end. No matter how long you wait for.

Basically this is a film that is saved by strong characterisation and amazing animation. The story is just there to keep the characters bumping into each other.

And Scrat still saves the film.

April 25, 2006

Actias Luna


I've been meaning for the last couple of days to put up a link to simplecubed. It's a website a friend of mine has created to show off his work. I finally got around to looking at it on Sunday and I was completely blown away. To the extent I had to text him immediately!

I particularly recommend watching Actias Luna. For some reason this has just blown my imagination open and I keep having to go back and watch it again. It's very, very cool!

Death or glory!

I went paintballing yesterday, and I've got to say it's something I really should do more often. Of course I think the main enjoyment came because we created tactics and then stuck to them. This did mean that by the end of the day the other team had been increased to out number us by about 35 to 25, and we still won 8 - 1 (the one they got at the end, but not really since they didn't properly achieve their objectives; Ho-hum).

The downside of this is that every muscle in my body aches. Still there is something vaguely exhilarating about standing still while paintballs wizz around you (and slam into the walls behind you) because if you move you'll expose yourself and be shot.

Good Times :)

April 20, 2006

I've got a lover - ly bunch of...

Impossible to open big nut things. :(

Well I say bunch, what I really mean is one. I eventually had to just take the hammer to the thing and break it into pieces. Although I thought I'd drained it, this lead to a huge load of coconut water pouring out across my carpet... It worked in the end, but still - I swear those things used to be easier to open.

Still as I sat there with my broken shards of coconut shell lying all around me, I realised something else - just because the shell was broken open didn't mean that I could actually get to the coconut. I mean those things were like glued onto the shell or something :( I had to use a knife finally to pry the bits of white flesh off the shell so I could eat them. It turned out to be way more effort than it was probably worth, and I ended up with a belly ache the next day.

But over all it was fun! I can hardly wait until the next one...!

April 18, 2006

Wight Eggs and new traditions

Yesterday I spent a rather fun day on the Isle of Wight. Well I say a day, it turned out to be an afternoon. It was however rather fun and on the Isle of Wight.

Originally I'd planned to go across to Ryde and ride on the Steam Railway and then go to the Isle of Wight Zoo. That was my plan all along. So I was slightly surprised to find myself getting on a bus ot go to Alum Bay and the needles at the other end of the island. Still it was fun!

I skipped the pointless chairlift and instead used my legs to walk to the beach (it only takes about 30 seconds longer than the chairlift). I found myself a nice Wight Egg and carried it all the way up to the old bailey above the needles. I found a suitable little hill and left it there. I think on the next bank holiday I'm going to do it again. Eventually I hope to create a cairn entirely from Wight Eggs, and hopefulyl it'll start to propagate itself!

In reality I'm guessing someone will knock it over :(

If you don't know a Wight Egg is a lump of chalk that's fallen from the cliffs onto the beach. The sea then runs across it, and since it's chalk it very quickly gets worn away. What you end up with is a smooth white stone, that looks like an egg. They fall all around the island, and they vary in size from half the size of your head, to about the size of a pea.

Their great!

April 15, 2006

One slip too many

I'll say now I'm slightly drunk. It'll save time later. :)

I finally decided it was time to add an image to this blog. I went with this: a copy of an image from one of the last Sandman comics. It's death, the way death should be. Not some annoying skeletal cadaver, but a cute chick who's someone you might want to meet. Because let's face it, as the ultimate end of all life, Death should only be a good person to meet. Someone funky and nice to know. It kind of makes me think of Nicholas Cage in 'City of Angels'. Someone who's much more interested in life than the people who live here. Not a depressing image I'd have to say! Or at least not if done properly.

Hopefully I've done justice to... I forget the artist's name. I'd like to say Dave McKean of MirrorMask fame, but I know he was just the cover artist. According to Wikipedia it's probably Marc Hempel as it came from The Kindly ones. Still Neil Gaiman's work seriosuly rules. He's the only guy who's won a proper honest-to-god literary award (the World fantasy award) for a comic (cue shock horror - although it is fantasy so unfortunately not that much :( ) and as a great as that issue was (#19) that's nothing compared to the rest of the series. Oh yeah!

Also in the efforts of full disclosure last Saturday I had five cigarettes. In my defense I'd have to say:
1) If Em hadn't so completely dismissed me in one glance.
2) If when she did decide to talk to me she didn't shout at me for something that wasn't my fault.
3) If I'd been somewhere other than Annie's birthday so I'd felt like I could have replied.
4) If I'd been somewhere that I could have just accepted it (see above) and not sucked it up so that eventually I just needed to blow off steam.
5) If I'd been somewhere that I didn't need to escape, and needed a reason to escape.
6) If I hadn't seen an evening ahead of me of trying to avoid Em (which turned out to be unjustified since she left soon after) in a space which had no room to avoid her.
7) If I hadn't mostly been surrounded by her friends.
8) If I'd been a better person and not someone who was still secretly in love with her, but knew that that love wasn't returned (because it was essentially a big mistake. A lot of fun, but still a big mistake all the same).
9) If I hadn't been that drunk :)

Then I probably wouldn't have had the first one. Which led to the second, third and fourth...

The pack of ten I smoked tonight I had no excuse for. But I've got to say, I seriously gave up that much of my life for this crap? I mean damn, it's not like they taste any good!

So the wonderful quitting smoking plan kind of died briefly. But I've got to say I'm feeling more positive about it now. Yes there's still a cetain amount of craving, but what does that really mean if I'm not smoking anymore?

It means part of me still wants to smoke obviously, but I can deal with that part. As long as I accept the difference between a glitch and a mistake. If you can't fall of the wagon long enoug ht obounce then how do you know you're really on the wagon after all?

Finally I briefly caught up with an old friend this evening, who also happens to now be the drummer for Razorlight. Very bizarre, but pretty cool! He's such a nice guy, and it's still good to catch up with him. Even if I did feel a little like 'But you're all rich and famous, I'm not sure how to talk to you anymore!'. So I now have his mobile. I feel like I have power!

Sleep calls. Later!

April 12, 2006

Stupid IT policy

Call me crazy, but you'd think that an engineering company with a strong background in computer software would at least vaguely trust their staff to be able to, I don't know, use a computer? That maybe we might have a better idea over the tools available to us that we could comfortably use and they'd let us?

That possibly the IT policy should embrace this richness of experience and wisdom rather than stifle it by locking down users accoutns to the extent that they can't actually do, well, anything on their machines?

I mean what's the point of having experienced engineers if you're not willing to use their experience?

Also, my brand spanking new machine just got upgraded to another different brand spanking new machine thanks to an upgrade. Just after I got it working properly. So now I get to start all over again...


April 07, 2006

I take it back...

It turns out you don't get used to sleep deprivation. The last week or so my insomnia has flared up again - to the worst stage where it doesn't feel like I'm getting any sleep at all. I've had that before, but generally only for one night. Now I don't think I've had a decent nights sleep in about two weeks.

It's not so fun anymore.

I did have a nice moment last night when I first went to bed and I found myself feeling completely at peace. There was no sound (and I mean none, which is unusual for the centre of Southampton). I could occasionally hear a car in the distance, but only if I really concentrated. It was neither hot nor cold nor warm. If ever there was a point that I'd say that temperature ceased to exist, that was it. I was neither comfortable nor uncomfortable...

Actually it's probably more like limbo I guess. If ever there was a time when the world ceased to have any impact on me, and I ceased to have any on it, that was it. And it went on for a while, I've got to say. A couple of minutes at least.

I wonder if there was a reason for that?

April 05, 2006

Early Mornings vs Early Nights

I've finally accepted that when one of my housemates says that his alarm goes off at 6:00am, what he actually means is that the first time his alarm goes off is at 6:00am.
Normally that wouldn't matter, but it was throwing my mornign routine completely out of wack since I could never judge when the shower was going to be free and so I generally ended up with train issues.

It did however mean that I managed to squeeze my morning routine either further down to only half an hour + cleanign the kitchen time after everyone else in the flat has ruined it.

Put these two factors together and I've discovered an added benefit: if I set my alarm for 6:00am I can be up and showered (and mostly dressed) by the time he stumbles through to the bathroom. End result: I don't have to see anyone until after I've left the house (which I generally think is a bonus - I'm generally not ready to present myself to the world at large until at least half an hour after I've started moving), I don't have to clean the kitchen because it hasn't been messed up from the night before (and so I only have to do it once a day! Yay!) and I get into work a full half an hour early which will nicely build me up enough time to leave early on a friday.

So generally all good. Except this means I'm going to end up even more tired in the evenings. Damn...

April 04, 2006


You've probably noticed my complete lack of posts recently. I've been trying to work out why it is and I've got to say I'm not entirely sure. I was cat sitting last week, but that wouldn't have stopped me from posting (since I can post from either at home or at work). I've also been reasonably busy trying to do things for the forums third birthday (Yay!) but again that shouldn't have stopped me from spending five minutes posting something...

I even had a very enjoyable day on Sunday wandering around Wisley (and it's garden... centre I think, but really, it's so much more than that) with most of my family for my Mum's birthday. It was great fun (if slightly spoiled by a combination of rain and a lack of things being open/on over the winter. What's the point of a water feature that isn't on?).

But then I realised, there's very little that I can post that won't end up being a complaint about someone, somewhere. In fact I realised recently that the vast majority of people I see reasonably regularly are people I don't really enjoy being around. Most of the people I actually consider to be friends are people who are far, far away from me and I talk to online rather than face to face. In fact one of the best things about Wisley was I spent the day without being surrounded by people annoying me, and with people I was actually interested in talking to! For some strange reason that doesn't seem to be right. Like my life's missed a beat somewhere and I've got stuck in some bizarro world.

So I've reached the conclusion that come September (when I'll finally be free of the AMS/BAE beast I've been stuck with for the last seven odd years) it's time to get the hell out of dodge and go somewhere completely new. I'd like to eventually end up in Edinburgh, but I think I need to live somewhere else first (maybe even two or three places). Although where I end up will almost certainly depend on where work is I guess.

Part of me worries that all I'll really doing then is running away from my problems, but to be honest I'm going to have to paraphrase Pratchett on this one: it's not where you're escaping from, but to, that counts.